Benjamin Anderson thinks on many levels. Recurring in this artist’s work is a fluidity, whether portraits or objects placed in water. Most notably Anderson has submerged iconic imagery such as WWII fighter planes, race cars and custom pick-up trucks below the surface. In submerging the objects, Anderson has taken away their speed and ability to function. Now without power and at the mercy of gravity, the compositions undulate and dazzle in a myriad of refracted sunlight.
Anderson’s other works involving water are at opposite ends. ‘Swim’, a series of female swimmers languish like mermaids in heavy currents. In some images the swimmer is left intact and graceful. In more frenzied waters, the swimmers begin to distort in an expressionist manner to the point of abstraction. The frenzied water continues in the new works, ‘Cannonballers’, where swimmers have been replaced with blots of colors in energetic quasi- abstract compositions.
Anderson also puts forth wonderful hypnotic applications of paint in his portraiture. His liquid flesh renderings express a much-felt connection to the personalities he paints. As varied as his work, the artist also experiments with portrait styles from inserting linear motifs to waxed finishes.
Anderson’s newest experiments and one other facet of his most recent artistic practice involves LED lighting and mixed media works that are intended to be a meditative, introspective experience.
Anderson trained in Florence, Italy and the SF Academy of Art University (BFA). His work was first presented in the De Young Museum of Fine Arts ‘Emerging Artists Exhibition’ of 2001. He has been creating monumental oil paintings since 2002 and has been recognized for his portraiture by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Benjamin was selected by Converse for a national ad campaign as their All Star artist and his work was the subject of a presentation on London’s Channel 4 TV. He has shown work nationally and internationally including solo and group exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Venice and LA. He currently works and lives in Santa Barbara, CA.